A Few Alternatives to Super Dark Nail Polish (That Are Still Kinda On The Dark Side)

When it comes to fashion and beauty trends I am not always brave enough to be a true follower. There are always styles that are cute and chic on others that I could never pull off (for example teal eyeshadow, black lipstick/gloss or leggings with boots). If you like dark nails but feel the new releases are a bit too vampy or deep, here are four softer alternatives I really like:

L to R: OPI Melody in Mocha, Paul & Joe #20 Manhattan, Urban Decay Gunmetal, Dior Lemon Balm, Chanel Noir Ceramic


* I believe the OPI and Chanel are both discontinued, but you can still find quite a few online through swap boards, ebay or discount nail e-tailers

* OPI Melody in Mocha is a complex fawn grey with slight mauve tones and gold shimmer, I was lucky to get one in a swap and love it – I think there are quite a few dupes, there’s one from China Glaze that might be similar (the flash makes it look lighter and emphasizes the silver – in real life it’s not quite as pale for the swatch at least)

* Paul & Joe #20 Manhattan is a sparkley medium-light gunmetal shimmer, it is on the sheerer side so I had to use four coats but the finished result has a lot of depth – it’s hard to explain but it looks different depending on the way the light hits the color

* Urban Decay Gunmetal is currently only available in the Apocalyptic Nail Kit, I really hope it comes out in full size, it’s a deeper gunmetal shimmer with slight brownish tones in it so it doesn’t turn blue on me like most gunmetal shades

* Dior Lemon Balm was a Nordstrom Exclusive for their last Anniversary Sale, I believe you might still be able to find it online at nordstrom.com, it’s an oddly-named color, in the container it looks more greyish, but on the nails and compared to the other greys, it definitely pulls more purple with brown shimmers

* Chanel Noir Ceramic was photographed mainly for comparison purposes, but it’s a nice black with silver shimmers which make it softer and less harsh than most blacks, a close dupe is Chanel’s Black Satin which is darker



One more view:


I’d really LOVE to hear your favorite shimmer nail polishes that are medium-to-dark. I’m always looking for more colors by recommendations to check out. I tend to feel overwhelmed when I shop at Ulta or Sephora for nail products – too many colors to choose from and I usually end up with too many reds that look almost identical.

  • love the gunmetal and Dior polish! Thanks for sharing! Great blog! Please check out my fashion and lifestyle blog http://www.andeelayne.blogspot.com . Follow mine as I will yours xo

  • Next time you are at Ulta, check out Essie's Wrapped in Rubies. I love how all the dark colors look on others, but they never look quite right. I think my style is too conservative for the greens and blues! This shade is a deep burgundy w/gold shimmer. It's very elegant and even though it's dark, it's office appropriate. 🙂

  • R

    Nice! I'm a big fan of China Glaze Wagon Trail (blacked olive green) & MAC Deep Dark Delicious – I've got fairly olive toned skin & these work nicely for me, but I have to admit I hate the MAC formula on DDD. Chips like crazy, so if anyone has dupe suggestions I'd love to know. I've yet to find a gray I can wear well, but the hunt continues.

  • Today I found your great blog 🙂 I love dark colors of nail polish. One of my favourites is OPI suzi skis in the pyrenees suede. I have it on right now 🙂 http://allyoudesire-ayd.blogspot.com/2009/10/opi-suzi-skis-in-pyrenees-suede-with.html

  • I am loving the colors you featured. Because I'm a med-dark skintone I fully embrace the DARK nail trend. I got bored of my usual long french manicured nails of the summer – cut my nails and paint the dark! My favorite at the moment are OPI Espana collection – Suzi Skis the Pyrenees, Here Today Aragon Tomorrow and the fuschia Ate Berries in the Canaries, I also love MAC's Rich, Dark Delicious and the grape For Fun. i also love NARS Tokaido Express and Essie's Wicked…

  • Love the Dior one!! I like this more than the Chanel in the same colour.

  • I really like the Chanel one and Dior's Lemon Balm. I agree, weird name, it'd be the last thing I thought of!

  • I LOVE Dior polish! It looks so beautiful…

  • Hi ladies, thank you for all your suggestions and comments. I am making a list of what to check out in the next week!

  • I love Zoya Freja for a not-too-dark. My current fav is definitely OPI Merry Midnight though. It's dark, but not so much the color doesn't shine through and the flaky glitter and shimmer are just amazing!

  • wow your nails are most beautiful! i mean, i am looking at the shape and how they fit into your fingers. lol

    seriously, those colours are all fabulous on you. i never thought brownish colours work for skin tone like yours. now i think i can venture out to try some. i stick to boring pink nude when i do wear it. (like once a year…)

    love your blog and i can see it's attracting a lot of readers! i always tell people to come by. (do i get some commission? :P)